Skip to main content

Phytoplankton Bloom in North Sea off Scotland: Image of the Day

Item Preview

image
Phytoplankton Bloom in North Sea off Scotland: Image of the Day


Published May 8, 2008


The northern and western highlands of Scotland were still winter-brown and even dusted with snow in places, but the waters of the North Sea were blooming with earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Library/Phytoplankton/ phytoplankton on May 8, 2008, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer modis.gsfc.nasa.gov (MODIS) on NASA's aqua.nasa.gov Aqua satellite passed over the region and captured this image. The tiny, plant-like organisms swirled in the waters off the country's east coast, coloring the shallow coastal waters shades of bright blue and green.

Phytoplankton are tiny organisms -- many are just a earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Library/Coccolithophores/ single cell -- that use chlorophyll and other pigments to capture light for photosynthesis. Because these pigments absorb sunlight, they change the color of the light reflected from the sea surface back to the satellite. Scientists have used observations of ''ocean color'' from satellites for more than 20 years to track worldwide patterns in phytoplankton blooms.

Phytoplankton are important to the Earth system for a host of reasons, including their status as the base of the ocean food web. In the North Sea, they are the base of the food web that supports Scotland's commercial fisheries, including monkfish and herring. As photosynthesizers, they also play a crucial role in the carbon cycle, removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Some oceanographers are concerned that rising ocean temperatures will earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/NewImages/images.php3?img_id=17482 slow phytoplankton growth rates, harming marine ecosystems and causing carbon dioxide to accumulate more rapidly in the atmosphere.

NASA image by Norman Kuring, oceancolor.gsfc.nasa.gov/ Ocean Color Team, Goddard Space Flight Center. Caption by Rebecca Lindsey.



Identifier ge_08741
Filename Scotland_AMO_2008129_lrg.jpg
Creator NASA -- NASA Image Of The Day
Date 2008-05-08
Mediatype image
Rights Public Domain
Source http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8741
Year 2008
Publicdate 2011-07-18 09:30:13
Addeddate 2011-07-18 09:30:13
Backup_location ia903701_29
Language English

comment
Reviews

There are no reviews yet. Be the first one to write a review.
SIMILAR ITEMS (based on metadata)
eye
Title
Date Archived
Creator
NASA Images
by NASA -- NASA image created by Jesse Allen, Earth Observatory, using data provided courtesy of the rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/ MODIS Rapid Response team.
image
eye 53
favorite 0
comment 0
Source: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=7084
NASA Images
by NASA -- NASA Image Of The Day
image
eye 22
favorite 0
comment 0
Source: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8246
NASA Images
by NASA -- NASA Image Of The Day
image
eye 25
favorite 0
comment 0
Source: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8517
NASA Images
by NASA -- NASA Image Of The Day
image
eye 26
favorite 0
comment 0
Source: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8430
NASA Images
by NASA -- NASA Image Of The Day
image
eye 52
favorite 0
comment 0
Source: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8641
NASA Images
by NASA -- Image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC
image
eye 38
favorite 1
comment 0
Source: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=3539
NASA Images
by NASA -- NASA Image Of The Day
image
eye 27
favorite 0
comment 0
Source: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8511
NASA Images
by NASA -- NASA Image Of The Day
image
eye 101
favorite 0
comment 0
Source: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8354
NASA Images
by NASA -- NASA Image Of The Day
image
eye 17
favorite 0
comment 0
Source: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8346
NASA Images
by NASA -- NASA Image Of The Day
image
eye 15
favorite 0
comment 0
Source: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8381